As the start of the Indian Premier League, edition 11 gets closer and closer, the prestigious league is making all the headlines. In the recent happenings, the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the playoffs of the league to be played in the MCA Stadium, Pune.
This year, there is no Pune-based franchise in the league and so, the venue might not get any league matches to host. As per Sportstarlive, the MCA President Abhay Apte addressed the IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla in a letter recently where he demanded the playoff games to be held in Pune.
“As such, the venue of last year’s IPL runner-up (Team Pune), i.e. MCA’s stadium at Gahunje, Pune should be the logical choice to stage the eliminator and the qualifier 2 matches. Just because there is no “Pune Team” this year, we cannot change the history and record that this was the venue of the runners-up IPL team (in 2017). Holding matches at Pune will also (be) an honour and justice to the fan base of IPL which has been created in Pune,” Apte wrote in the letter.
Pune has a huge fan base
In the past couple of years, the franchise Rising Pune Supergiant was based in Pune and the team made it to the final last year. The team had gathered an immense fan-following in the city due to the presence of big players like MS Dhoni, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes. If Pune doesn’t get to host any matches this year, the fans in the city will feel a little hard done.
Before Supergiants, Pune Warriors India was based in the city but it lasted from 2011 to 2013 only. The MCA Stadium provides world-class facilities to the players as well as the spectators. Whenever the matches are held in Pune, despite the stadium being on the outskirts of the city, it is packed to the rafters more often than not. It remains to be seen whether BCCI accepts MCA’s offer and presents Pune with the playoffs.